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Swap Data Repository and Clearinghouse Indemnification Correction Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I want to thank the cosponsors of this bill, especially Mr. Huizenga, Ms. Moore, and Mr. Maloney, for joining me in this bipartisan effort to help bring transparency to the global swap markets. While I may not agree with every provision of the Dodd-Frank law, today I believe we're working towards its bipartisan goal of giving the regulators the tools they need to improve systemic risk mitigation in the global financial markets.

I think everyone agrees that the lack of transparency in the over-the-counter derivatives markets escalated the financial crisis of 2008. In order to provide market transparency, the Dodd-Frank law requires post-trade reporting to swap data repositories, or SDRs, so that regulators and market participants have access to realtime market data that help identify systemic risk in the financial system. So far we have made great strides in reaching this goal, but unfortunately a provision in the law threatens to undermine our progress unless we fix it.

Currently, Dodd-Frank includes a provision requiring a foreign regulator to indemnify a U.S.-based SDR for any expenses arising from litigation relating to a request for market data. Unlike the rest of the world, the concept of indemnification is only established within U.S. tort law. As a result, foreign regulators have been reluctant to comply with this provision, and international regulatory coordination is being thwarted.

While the intent of the provision was to protect market confidentiality, in practice it threatens to fragment global data on swap markets. Foreign regulators would be forced to create their own SDRs, resulting in a fragmented global data framework where regulators would be unable to see a complete picture of the marketplace. Without effective coordination between international regulators and SDRs, monitoring and mitigating global systemic risk is severely limited.

H.R. 742 fixes this problem by removing the indemnification provisions in Dodd-Frank. This legislation has broad bipartisan support and was unanimously approved by the House Agriculture Committee in March and the House Financial Services Committee in May. Additionally, last year, the SEC testified to the Financial Services Committee that a legislative solution was needed, saying:

In removing the indemnification requirement, Congress would assist the SEC, as well as other regulators, in securing the access it needs to data held in global trade repositories.

Many other U.S. and foreign regulators have echoed these same sentiments.

If left unresolved, the indemnification provision in Dodd-Frank has the potential to effectively reduce transparency in the over-the-counter derivatives markets and undo the great progress already being made through the cooperative efforts of more than 50 regulators worldwide. In passing this legislation, we will ensure that regulators will have access to a global set of swap market data, which is essential to maintaining the highest degree of market transparency and risk mitigation.

I strongly urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this bill.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume just to simply say that by passing and enacting H.R. 742, it would send a clear message to the international community that the United States is strongly committed to global data sharing and is determined to avoid fragmenting the current global data set for over-the-counter derivatives.

I urge a ``yes'' vote on H.R. 742, and I continue to reserve the balance of my time.

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